CALS institutes new requirement for diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism professional development

Earlier this year, the Academic Planning Council formally approved a new college policy requiring annual professional development for faculty and staff in diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racist practices.

This policy is intended to foster professional development to increase the college’s overall capacity to grapple with the difficult issues of diversity, equity and inclusion leading to an increasingly positive climate for all students, faculty and staff. Because our knowledge related to positive climate, equity and inclusion continues to evolve, this policy allows some flexibility. The policy’s aim is to encourage professional development tailored to the roles of our personnel and reflective of their knowledge, skills and abilities in these critical areas.

Developed in response to the CALS Equity and Diversity Committee’s recommendation to implement mandatory cultural competency training, the policy aims to ensure employees understand systemic racism and learn anti-racist practices.

Starting with the 2021 calendar year, CALS will require all faculty and staff to participate annually in at least one experience that enhances their understanding of diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism. The experience(s) must be documented in their annual activity report (for faculty) or self-evaluation (for staff through the PMDP online system). It is recommended that the training documentation be accompanied by a statement of the impact of the activity on the participant and that the participant discuss it with their supervisor during the annual summary performance evaluation. A variety of seminars, training, and professional development experiences will satisfy this expectation, including WISELI training, participation in the annual DDEEA forum, CALS EDC lunch and learn seminars, offerings outside of UW (i.e., by professional societies) or training organized by departments, centers or programs for the benefit of their unit as a cohort. CALS administration will provide examples of and opportunities for training in eCALS.

Beginning in FY2023, compliance with this requirement is mandatory for consideration for CALS awards and for nomination by the college for UW and external awards. Compliance is also required for pay plan and merit increases. While mandatory accountability begins in FY23, we expect personnel to begin this professional development in calendar year 2021 to be reported in calendar year 2021 summary evaluations and annual reports. In the spring of 2022, we will evaluate this new training requirement and update processes as needed.

The incoming chief diversity officer will oversee the policy and implementation in cooperation with CALS Human Resources.